The most pressing issue from the Sydney Derby

In a typically feisty, atmospheric derby, the Western Sydney Wanderers were able to cause Sydney FC problems with their energetic pressing.

In recent years, tactical discussion of the Wanderers has focused on their evolution towards a fluid, possession-based style. However, in their foundation years they were renowned for their ability to win the ball back high up the pitch.

In the inaugural season, under Tony Popovic, they averaged the least possession of any A-League side, as they focused on pressing opponents in their back third, then breaking quickly towards goal.

While there has been an evolution in playing style, that old, hard-running, hard-to-beat mentality has still been present, and despite his departure, these are qualities Popovic valued in his squad-building for the current season.

It was clear from the outset of the derby that interim coach Hayden Foxe felt pressing was critical to cause the defending champions problems.

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